What is better than a warm bowl of ooey gooey cheese and pasta after a long day? Maybe having it on your plate within 15 minutes. That can be your reality with this instant pot macaroni and cheese. What’s really great, is that most of that time does not involve you; it practically cooks itself. So throw on your pajamas, hide under a pile of blankets on the couch, and enjoy your easy peasy mac and cheesy.
Best add-ins for mac and cheese
You have the power to keep this as easy as possible or to add complexity and flavor. Add one or a few of the below options to mix it up.
Vegetables: Tell yourself this is a healthy dish by incorporating some vegetables. My favorite add-ins are broccoli, roasted asparagus, peas, and butternut squash cubes or puree.
Flavor enhancers: While there is plenty of flavor in this mac and cheese, sometimes you really want a clear zing of flavor. Try a tablespoon or two of Buffalo sauce, barbecue sauce, or pesto.
This macaroni and cheese freezes relatively well just be sure to use a pasta like cavatappi that holds its shape better. When re-heating add a tablespoon of milk to the bowl and heat in 30 second increments, mixing the pasta between each.
Because a pressure cooker is used for this recipe, a pasta that holds its shape works best. Examples include cavatappi, rotini, or rigatoni.
The main advantage of using a pressure cooker for this dish is the speed. You can have dinner ready in just about 15 minutes, similar to making a boxed version but more flavorful. Also, this recipe is easier than making traditional mac and cheese, with no roux required.
Try these other instant pot recipes!
Whether you’re feeling great or depressed, tired or full of energy, you can make this mac and cheese happen. Gather those ingredients, run your pressure cooker, then add many cheeses. Your good night is coming soon.
Instant pot macaroni and cheese
- Pressure cooker
- 1 box Cavatappi*
- 4 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ cup shredded gouda cheese**
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard smooth
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- To the pot of your pressure cooker add the pasta, broth, and butter.
- Set the instant pot to pressure cook for 7 minutes. If you use a different type of pasta, set this as the shortest time in the directions on the package.
- When the pressure cooker is done, release the pressure, remove the lid, and turn off the device. Add the remaining ingredients to the pasta. Stir pasta for 2-3 minutes until all cheese is melted and the sauce has fully mixed together and slightly thickened.
- If desired, mix in your preferred meat, vegetable, or sauce add-ins at this point.